I’m superstitiously fearful that telling you what I’m about to tell you (or writing what I’m about to write, as it were) will jinx me and my family, but in the name of preventing, preparing for, and responding to emergencies, here goes nothing…
Despite the fact that the flu virus is running rampant throughout the city in which we live – and throughout cities all across the country as well – no one in my family has been infected. Yet. This is somewhat surprising, considering my kids spend multiple days a week splashing around in the germ pools otherwise known as kindergarten and preschool. Add into the mix that I volunteer in the elementary school and substitute teach in the preschool, and that my husband, a professor, spends all day every day surrounded by less-than-healthy college students, and it’s truly a miracle that not one of us has been struck down by this year’s aggressive strain.
(Please excuse me for a moment while I knock on the wooden coffee table sitting in front of me. Ok, I’m back.)
As a parent, I’ve taken the steps (with regard to flu shots, supplemental vitamins and minerals, and every day food and drink consumption) I feel will provide my kids with the best possible chance of avoiding the flu. But keeping my kids healthy isn’t entirely my responsibility – they play a role in keeping themselves healthy as well.
Here are a few tips, courtesy of the Red Cross, to help your kids help themselves stay illness-free – or at least, generally healthier – this cold and flu season.
- Avoid sharing objects like utensils, cups, and bottles.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterwards. If tissue-less, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper arm, not into your hands.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth to keep germs from entering your body.
- Wash your hands, often and thoroughly.
And here are a few resources, all courtesy of the American Red Cross, to help you learn more about influenza, as well as how to prepare for and respond during an influenza outbreak.
- About, how to prepare for, and how to respond during an influenza outbreak.
- Be Red Cross Ready Flu Checklist.
- Be Red Cross Ready Taking Care of People with the Flu Checklist.
- Scrub Club website (games, music, cartoon webisodes, and downloads for kids).